Life With Trees, and Trees of Life

Life With Trees, and Trees of Life

an offering to a favorite tree!
an offering to my favorite tree!

My upstairs bathroom window is the best place to meditate.

Our backyard is open with no fences, allowing wildlife to get their wild lives on like Donkey Kong. It’s a good thing. I’ve seen deer, wild turkeys, squirrels, a fox, the haggard calico kitty from next door, and all sorts of birds. My funny little pagan kitten Pinky often joins me. I gaze out the window, I smoke, snuggle with my baby boy, and empty my mind of everything except the trees.

I’ve always loved trees. When I was seven, I devised a scheme to open a café in a treehouse in Old Oakie, the huge oak tree in our front pasture. Nicely trimmed hedges and neatly clipped lawns were for city people or at least the people that lived “in town”. We did not live “in town”. The closest kid my age to play with lived three miles away. If my family would have stayed in the city, I doubt I would have become a pagan. A magician of some kind? Probably. My spidey sense tells me, Hermetics probably. But a witch? The sort of person who likes to touch rocks and trees because they are lovely and part of nature, and for no other reason? Yeah. I just don’t think it would have happened if not for growing up surrounded by groves of oaks, huge rock outcroppings, and cow shit.

You can’t truly embrace Nature, until you’ve had a semi-warm cow-pie hit you smack in the face. Nice one, bro! I hate my fucking brother. I mean I love him, but really?! Shit in the face, or anywhere else for that matter, humbles you.

CLEAR VOICE SAYS: “Everywhere you turn around, we’ve all got bullshit going down!”

CV, my guide, has a rather wry and droll sense of humor. They would also like to add that they prefer to be called CLEAR VOICE of WISDOM(!!!). I’ll think about it.

Somehow shit was responsible for making Old Oakie grow. The ranch was mostly black oaks, so this tree stood out. It was an almost perfectly shaped white oak, tall as a mall parking garage, with mistletoe hanging from it. This tree made a pagan out of me. What other people (namely my mother) felt in church, I felt sitting outside.

I live in a place now that seems the have the best of both worlds. Just enough nature to keep my spirits up, with a bit of wilderness, within close proximity to a Taco Bell. You know… just in case the Taco Gods need to get their grub on. I can’t sit in my back yard, not yet. It’s very very open, and we need to work on privacy fencing or lattice. The bathroom window is the best place in the house to be with it in the best kind of way. And Pinky hangs out with me! This annoys our big cat, The Brain.

There are five different kinds of trees in our “yard”. Two kinds of pine, and three types of oak.

It was here that I first saw Gaia, inscribed into the bark of a tree near our upstairs deck.

It’s been a while since I’ve had trees that felt like they were mine, or at least trees that were my friends. A tree can’t belong to a person, but a person can belong to a tree. Not everyone knows this, but it’s good information to have.

I’ve never been fond of Digger Pines. They’re sort of scary to me, and I don’t know why. A few weeks ago, The Digger Pine in my backyard told me “Don’t be scared of me. I’m just a tree. Nature made me this way. I can’t help being what I am.” I realized that even the things I’m not fond of are part of something, a part of the Great All This. Shit. Spiders. People who refuse to use their turn signals.

We don’t have to try to be part of something greater than ourselves… We already are.

Everything is interconnected up yin and back through the yang, and up and down the twisty branches of the Tree of Life. Nature is just where I happen to find the deepest and most meaningful connection. I agree with Frank Lloyd  Wright… I too “put a capital N on Nature and call it my church.” It could have been different, but in this lifetime it’s not. I wouldn’t change it. Whatever this is, we’ve hit the gooey caramel center.

So, I look at the trees, and think about nothing. I’m here now. They’re not going anywhere. Neither am I. There is work to do, but there is also time. Plenty of time.